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  • Question

    Is there an introduction that makes the clause mandatory versus one that allows for the clause to be removed from the contract?


    Answer

    The terms "shall," "use," and "insert" all indicate the imperative, which means the action is required. However, the FAR makes a distinction between "shall" and "should" in the definitions section at FAR 2.101. "Should" gives the contracting officer (or other official if so indicated) some leeway if a particular undefined circumstance merits an alternative course of action. All terms, whether imperative or not, also need to be read in the context of any qualifying content that follows. If the FAR states — "The contracting officer shall __________ unless _________" — then the imperative "shall" is not required if the qualifying situation or condition exists.

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